What is “White People Challenging Racism”?

Racism as a system that White people created, maintain, and condone–therefore White people in particular need to take immediate action to end it. White People Challenging Racism: Moving From Talk to Action is a small, online workshop which meets for five sessions to guide participants to:

  • Examine the role of White people in dismantling racism, becoming antiracist, and building an equitable society;
  • Explore the impact of White privilege, and how being unaware of that advantage helps perpetuate racism;
  • Write about their own racial awareness journeys;
  • Enhance their understanding and capacity for action through discussion of short readings, videos, and other materials;
  • Share everyday racism-related situations where they may not have effectively responded and, using role plays, work out effective ways to challenge racism;
  • Develop a specific plan for challenging racism in the workplace, an organization, or in the community, while being encouraged to find other people in their lives who can provide support and serve as accountability partners in implementing your plans.

Please note: Attendance at all sessions and completion of all assignments are required. Each participant will receive a phone call from one of the facilitators prior to the start of this program to review the commitment and class requirements. Participants of all identities are welcome.

Why “White People Challenging Racism”?

In the United States today, structural racism pervades all our major institutions and power continues to be concentrated among white people. This reality betrays our nation’s founding principal of liberty and justice for all. While White people today did not have a hand in creating or institutionalizing racism, all of White society benefits from and is complicit in the continuation of such institutions.

We, the facilitators of the course White People Challenging Racism: Moving from Talk to Action (WPCR), believe that all people who value social justice must work to dismantle these systems if equal opportunity is to prevail. We take our cue from Malcolm X’s famous words of advice that white people need to fight racism in their own communities. WPCR was founded to provide White people with tools and resources to challenge and change attitudes and actions that perpetuate racism.

Who is behind “White People Challenging Racism”?

WPCR is a grassroots network of facilitators who, having taken the workshop, were invited to co-lead it. Since 1999, the course has drawn more than 1,500 participants, ages 13 to 81, from a wide spectrum of backgrounds. Initially developed (and still offered) at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, WPCR has been offered at adult education programs and college campuses in the Boston area, and has been adapted for  teachers, law enforcement, public servants, social service providers, and others.

Workshops are led by pairs of facilitators who aim to help participants gain the racial self-awareness needed for genuine participation in multiracial communities. We strive to keep the course timely, thought-provoking, and action-oriented. People of all heritages are welcome to join us as we focus on the role of White people in dismantling racism.

Our work is supported, in part, by Community Change, Inc. and the Haymarket People’s Fund, as well as a network of individuals. WPCR seeks to build a racially just society through providing the information, skills, and resources needed to spur people to action in standing up against racism. 

Our current Leadership

Lavette Coney